By Dominic Toner

David Prutton expects Aston Villa to overcome QPR on Sunday and claims they must look for victory to keep their promotion aspirations alive.

Villa travel to QPR for a Championship clash and face a side that have lost their last four consecutive games.

Steve Bruce’s side have lost two of their last three matches and will be hoping to bounce back to help them climb the league table.

Villa are currently 13th-placed in the Championship table and are seven points adrift of the play-off positions, with a huge 17-point gap to the automatic spots.

Sky Sports pundits Prutton believes that the Midlands giants will edge the game 2-1 and must win to keep their top six dreams a reality.

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“My gut feeling is we’ll see a reaction from Aston Villa,” Prutton wrote for Sky Sports. “After a great unbeaten start from Steve Bruce, the last few games have been a bit of a reality check; two defeats and a win.

“There was a nice confidence about the place that they would be steadily rising the table, but if they really have top six aspirations, they’ve got to look at a QPR team who, having lost the last four must be short of confidence, and look to get three points.”

Villa were relegated from the Premier League for the first time in their history last season and were expected to bounce straight back to the top flight.

They sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo in October after a poor start in the Championship and appointed the experienced Bruce as his successor.

Bruce was unbeaten in his first seven games for the club, but defeats to Leeds and Norwich recently have halted momentum.

Villa will still be hoping to close the gap to the play-off spots this season and should be looking for maximum points against QPR and Burton in their next two games.

In other Aston Villa news, Bruce should drop Gabby Agbonlahor and replace him with the club’s academy player.